Footy news week – 01

As the title suggest this will be my musings- some light hearted, some serious, some rant like – on the week in football and unlike Women’s Weekly they will in fact be coming out weekly (or thereabouts). This is the first instalment for season 2013 and it was just about ready to go midweek until certain events at Essendon meant a redraft was needed.

The format may change as the season progresses and I’m not sold on the name so feel free to comment/bag/tell me to get stuffed/rant back – all feedback is welcome.


Footy is… back

Yes AFL football is back. Richmond took on the Indigenous All Stars in Alice Springs, last night – Friday, February 8, and duly got flogged – somethings don’t change. In a world of billion dollar TV rights one might have thought this game would have been broadcast on TV, perhaps even on the dedicated AFL channel Fox Footy, yet it was not. A live YouTube stream was the only medium available which is better than nothing I guess but disappointing when you consider the NRL Indigenous v All stars game is live on Channel 9 tonight.

But back to my main point – Football in February – not soon enough in my book. Why can’t the NAB cup start in January? Why not even earlier with a NAB cup blockbuster game on New Year’s Eve at the MCG – it worked so well on Millennium eve. Why stop at December, why not have NAB cup games in October in London with players wearing sneakers? Why is no one listening to Kevin Sheedy?


Super Rugby and NRL are also back with trial games going on around the country. I won’t pretend to know or care about what happens in either. A-league continues too – my thoughts on that below.


The highlight

I‘m not sure why AFL cannot be played in metropolitan Melbourne on Good Friday. The conspiracy theorist in me still says the Royal Children’s Hospital pays Andrew Demetriou NOT to let it happen – they contribute roughly 6% of his $7.8bn salary or whatever it is he now gets paid.


Melbourne Storm have played in Melbourne on Good Friday in the past, numerous country football leagues play games on Good Friday but you cross the Metropolitan Ring Road and you are just not allowed to kick a Sherrin in anger on the day before Easter Saturday. Until now…


Friday March 29

VFL practice match

Essendon VFL v Sandringham

11am at Windy Hill


OK so it’s semi anger as its only a practice match and watch this space as last season Bendigo Gold were fixtured to play Port Melbourne in Bendigo on Good Friday in the VFL season proper but as the date drew closer the game was shifted to the Saturday. Also wait and see if Essendon have enough players for a VFL side


The lowlight

Every sportsman in Australia is on drugs. OK not quite but every football player in every code is on drugs. Well maybe not quite but every Essendon player is definitely on drugs. Drugs that may or may not be legal. One thing is for sure: the key players in this have sh1t self imposed nicknames: The Weapon, The Pharmacist, Dr Ageless, Dr Peptide. Dean Robinson, clearly your nickname is Robbo not The Weapon.


Consequently the AFL announced its going to  tough on anyone using drugs. A good start might be to catch some players testing positive to drugs first – something they don’t seem capable of doing!!. The AFL drug testers can’t catch anyone using recreational drugs – including Ben Cousin’s who admitted to having been off his trolley most of the last 8 AFL seasons he played  – and now they can’t catch anyone using performance enhancing drugs – ie allegedly all the Essendon players on PED’s last season.


Also every A-league game is fixed by betting syndicates of Asian gangs who run unhygienic restaurants and do dodgy washing machine repairs that are making our kids fat.



The unbelievable

Ricky Nixon is going to do stand up comedy. At least he won’t be short of material.


Slightly less high on the unbelievable Reicter scale is the following.  I was watching Fox Sports News last weekend and stumbled across a preview of the Victory v Heart A-league clash at Etihad Stadium. It had the usual two pundits discussing key players and match ups and then footage of the Heart players arriving on the team bus. Hang on what? The Heart arrived at Etihad Stadium on a bus. Yep. Why? Do none of them know how to drive? Is it too taxing to navigate yourself the 3km from AAMI Park, Heart’s home ground, to the other side of the CBD, so they had to catch a bus. I know everyone loves a bus trip but this seemed a bit much. If the players did make their own way to AAMI Park and then get a bus all of 3km to Docklands I will go he.


And finally the amount of media coverage given to the Carlton intraclub game during the week was unbelievable. There was a live audio broadcast online including player interviews, the Herald Sun had highlighted it as one of the sporting events of the week on Monday and then had a live blog on game day giving update. It was a scratch match – let’s all chill out. Nowhere near as much coverage was given to the Essendon & Collingwood intra-clubs or the Port Adelaide Power (AFL) v Port Adelaide Magpies (SANFL) game. The Power proved they aren’t as bad as a state level side winning by nearly 100 points.


The boring

Lance Franklin has put off contract talks with Hawthorn until the end of the season. This will be another season long, Travis Cloke style, will he sign, won’t he sign saga. It will be longer and more boring than the federal election campaign. This is an oxygen thief of a topic – I won’t be discussing it again.



VFL watch

The announcement of a VFL practice match on Good Friday was enough to get me red hot in the jocks about the VFL season ahead. Also VFL scores are now part of the updated Footy Live app. Stay tuned for team previews as the season draws closer.



What they should do

Fox Footy should buy the rights to the NTFL and show a couple of games a week live. ABC TV seems incapable of providing a live footy fix for those in the southern states despite broadcasting a game a week on delay into  NT and now having 4 digital channels. For Fox Footy it would be a break from endless replays of the AFL season past and provide live football from October through to March or whenever the NAB cup starts, which in a couple of years will be October if Sheedy gets his way….



The Question

If ‘The Weapon’ was the answer, what was the question?



Membership Slogan Watch

“Whatever it takes”

Essendon’s membership slogan for 2013. As a mate suggested, a more appropriate slogan would have been “Whatever we take”



The Quote

The new breed of fitness gurus with designer tracksuits, Donny Osmond teeth and wraparound sunglasses will be back in the gym and out of the front office.

From now on, old-style doctors in tweed jackets who prefer stethoscopes around their necks to oriental snake tattoos will be calling and injecting the shots.

John Sylvester on drugs and crime in Australian sport

Read more:





P.S. next week will have less Essendon content hopefully.


Published by

Ross Slater

Blogging about the important things - AFL and cricket

One thought on “Footy news week – 01”

  1. Slatsy – this column had nowhere enough Essendon talk. There are pages worth of bomber gags and we’ve got weeks to come. Step up. Is it perhaps that the scribe is bomber supporter?

    Agree – Asian gangs are making our kids fat.

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